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November 3, 1925 - July 9, 2021
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Marion Eleanor Tuttle (nee Dempsey)
Marion was born in Stratford Ontario, on November 3rd 1925 to parents Earrol John Dempsey and Eleanor Dempsey (nee Strudley). She attended Bishop Strachan School (Anglican school for girls) in Toronto. After graduation, she attended the Parsons School of Art and Design in New York, where she learned about art history and the use of space and light in the new and exciting field of interior design! She applied her interior design training by setting up and outfitting showrooms at her grandfather’s furniture factory (Harold Strudley, Imperial Furniture, Stratford Ontario). Marion was also an accomplished violinist, and played second chair for the London Civic Orchestra. She had a brother James (Jim) who was born in 1929 (and died in 2015). Tragically, Marion’s father died when she was 10 years old.
At various times in her life, Marion worked as: lifeguard and swimming instructor, tobacco picker, interior designer, mother, wife, homemaker, graphic artist, and watercolour artist. She was an accomplished golfer, figure skater, curler, bowler, and duplicate bridge player.
Marion moved to Calgary in 1953 where she worked as an interior decorator for Neilson’s Furniture Store. In 1954 she met, and in the following year married, Graeme McCurdy Tuttle (from Ottawa, Ontario). Marion gave birth to two sons during the early years of their marriage: Brian (1956, Stettler, Alberta) and Hugh (1958, Stettler, Alberta). Frequent moves (every 2 years on average) were required because Graeme worked as an engineer in charge of designing and building oil and gas processing facilities throughout Alberta. As a result, Marion became an expert at packing everything up, relocating to a new town and setting up once again to continue life as ‘normal’. They eventually settled down in Calgary which I am sure was a huge relief after all the boxes and moving and packing and unpacking! Marion and Graeme were experienced world travellers and loved to go on cruises and tours to interesting and exotic places. She attended courses in screen printing and art at Mount Royal College in Calgary, and during her time there developed what was a hobby (screen printing) into a viable home-based business selling cards, prints and screen-printed fabrics.
Graeme passed away in 1991. In 1996, Marion moved to South Surrey to be closer to her sons and their families. Here, she continued to golf, ride her bike, take art classes, and also continued to travel the world with friends. In her spare time, she became an accomplished watercolour artist. With her art, Marion was always striving to perfect her portrayal of the interaction between light and water with many scenes from the west coast of BC. She moved to the neighborhood of James Bay in Victoria in 2010, and then to Saltspring Island in 2014, where she lived independently for another 3-1/2 years and continued to create beautiful works of art.
She died peacefully at a nursing home in Sidney BC in July 9th 2021, with both of her sons by her side. Marion is survived by her children (Brian, Hugh), her grandchildren (Shannon, Greg, Kristin, Kyla, Amber) and her great-grandchildren (Ollie, Jessica), nieces and nephews, cousins and many many good friends. She was a very determined and caring person, and always fiercely protective of her family and her values. Marion lived a good life and she lived it well. We love her, and she will be missed by all.